No-Sew DIY Dog Bows and Bow Ties

DIY no-sew special occasion dog bows and bow ties
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How to make DIY no-sew dog bow ties and neck bows. Simple stylish DIYs for doggy dress-up without sewing a single stitch. Pawesome! These dapper little no-sew dog bows and bow ties use a similar design and construction to our easy sew DIY dog collar bow ties, but skip the sewing by using fusible hemming tape instead of stitches.

No-Sew? No Problem!

Whilst making my no-sew recycled dress shirt dog bandanas, I couldn’t resist making a bow with some of the extra material. Bows and/or bow ties are quick crafts, although attachments for dog collars can sometimes be a little trickier. We have some awesome bow tie and bandana projects coming up (including what may be my favourite upcycle thus far!), but to keep this bow project totally now-sew, we’ll be showing a couple of simple methods and attachment options.

How to Make DIY No-Sew Dog Bow Ties and Neck Bows

Supplies and Materials

To make similar DIY no-sew dog bow ties or neck bows, you will need:

  • Fabric (ours were made with salvaged fabrics from old dress shirts)
  • Cutting tools, including a straight edge and either scissors or a rotary cutter
  • Fusible hemming tape
  • Interfacing (optional but recommended, especially for floppy materials)
  • Iron and ironing board 

The steps below are the same as sewing a simple dog bow tie, but the materials are fixed in place with fusible hemming tape instead of sewing the folded body of the bow tie. No sewing required! Easy, but still decently durable, too. 

For stiff and sturdy fabrics, you may be able to omit the interfacing, but normal materials are floppy without a little help. If using a thin and pliable interfacing, you can cut it to match your fabric pieces full size. If you are using a thicker stiffer interfacing, you can layer it in during assembly. 

Style Options

See our post on how to sew a dog bow tie for tips on style options, material selection, pattern orientation, and design. The basics are the same for this no sew method, with one important note. When sewing, ironing is optional but recommended. Since we’re using fusible hemming tape instead of sewing for these DIY no-sew dog bow ties and bows, you’ll need a heat safe material. Preferably something that holds a crease well, too. That makes it much easier when prepping folds for fusing.

Making DIY No-Sew Dog Bow Ties and Bows

There are two different examples in the no-sew DIY details below. One mimics the conventional loops of a tied bow. The other is a flat (no loop) folded bow. Although mimicking the looping layers of a real bow is my default for making a bow tie, flat folded ties can look good, too. They use less material, which can be handy if you’re using small scraps or stash busting. They also require a little less effort when making as a no-sew bow or bow tie.

Flat Style No-Sew Dog Bow Ties and Bows

Making the body of the bow or bow tie (fused flat single layer no loops):

I opted to make this bow a little taller than a conventional bow tie, just for slightly different look as a bow vs. bow tie. It has a pronounced triple accordion bow instead of a pinched middle pleat like a conventional bow tie. You can easily adjust dimensions to suit your preferred size and style of bow. Unlike our some of our bow ties, the bow itself is the star here, not the fabric or face design.

No sew flat DIY dog bow or bow tie

Preparing and Fusing the Materials:

  • If your material is creased or wrinkled, iron flat for a fresh starting surface.
  • Cut a rectangle of fabric to the height and 2x the desired width of the finished unfolded bow tie, plus additional allowances for fold-over hems. 
  • Iron to prepare creases (and confirm shape/size) prior to fusing together. Fold and iron to press a crease all the way around the outside allowance for the folded hems. Optional: In addition to the hemming allowances, I opted to pre-fold and crease all of the sides as well as the triple accordion fold. This is completely optional on both counts, but can be helpful for positioning. 
  • Cut a piece of interfacing to fit inside the body of the bow. It can be fusible or you can use hemming tape to fuse standard sew-in interfacing.
  • Position interfacing, carefully position hemming tape, and refold.
  • Iron to bond together, taking care to ensure all edges and corners are secure.

Forming the bow:

  • Pinch the bow together in the middle and secure tightly with elastic or a complimentary ribbon.
  • Optional: You can make a no-sew loop for the middle, if you wish, by creating a small fabric strip (fold like a double fold binding) in the width/length you’d like for the circumference of the loop and fusing (or gluing) it into a ring. I did not make a slide for this bow. More on that below.
DIY no sew dog collar bow

Loop Style No-Sew Dog Bow Ties and Bows

Making the body of the bow or bow tie (double layer):

Alternatively, you can create your bow or bow tie so that the folded materials aren’t fused at the upper/lower edges, leaving bow-like loops.  This is a more conventional bow shape. You can do this with the same dimensions as a flat tie, but it works best with a little extra material and incremental assembly so all raw edges are hidden, even if you take a peek inside the loops. For a clean finish, instead of just hemming the upper edges, the bow can be created using a larger piece of material and bringing the top/bottom folds all the way to meet as a finished overlap, as shown here. 

No sew looped DIY dog bow tie

Preparing the materials:

  • If your material is creased or wrinkled, iron flat for a fresh starting surface.
  • Cut a rectangle of fabric approximately 2x as wide and 2x as high as you would like your finished bow tie, plus additional for hidden folded hem allowances.
  • Iron to prepare creases (and confirm shape/size) prior to fusing together:
    • Fold and iron to press a crease on one/both of the side edges for your folded over hem. You can finish one edge and conceal with a tuck, as shown, or finish both. 
    • Fold the bottom edge to press a crease for your folded over hem. The top raw edge will be secured beneath this edge inside the finished bow.
  • Cut a piece of interfacing to fit inside the body of the bow. It can be fusible or you can use hemming tape to fuse standard sew-in interfacing. Position and double check the folds and sizes. Adjust if/as needed, then secure the interfacing. 

Fusing the body of the bow:

  • Fold the side hem(s) inwards and carefully secure with fusible hemming tape.
  • Fold the bottom hem inwards carefully secure with fusible hemming tape.
  • Carefully position hemming tape and refold the top/bottom edges into their finished overlapped middle position. Iron to secure in place.
  • Fold the side edges again into their finished middle position. Start with the raw edge and fuse incrementally. Secure in place along the hems at the middle only, forming the body for the bow with open top/bottom edges and fixed midline.

Forming the bow:

  • Pinch the bow together in the middle and secure tightly with elastic or a complimentary ribbon.
DIY no sew dog collar bow tie

Making a No Sew Loop Slide (Optional)

You can make a no-sew loop for the middle, if you wish, by creating a small fabric strip (fold like a double fold binding) in the width/length you’d like for the circumference of the loop and fusing (or gluing) it into a ring. 

I folded my slide material like a binding, and then unfolded it to form the loop first using a joint similar to a faux felled seam, adapted with hemming tape instead of stitching. Faux felled seams are ironed at the allowances and tucked into each other before joining. You can see a faux felled seam being sewn in our DIY drawstring treat bag post. Easy to sew. Not so easy with fusible tape. Once joined, I carefully refolded the loop’s raw edges inwards, then again at the midline to reform the binding and fused that into place. Not the easiest method for sure! But the finished slide is sturdy (can be an issue with no sew slides as noted below) and has no visible raw edges.  

DIY no sew dog collar bow tie sleeve and elastic attachment

Options for Attaching a DIY No-Sew Dog Bow Tie or Bow for Wear

As noted in our post on sewing dog bow ties, simple loop slides in the middle of the bow tie can be used to attach a bow tie to a collar, but only if the collar and slide are compatible. As a no-sew collar attachment, fabric slides can be extra tricky. There is often a lot of stress on the slide seam holding in the bow as well as working over knobby buckles on a collar. Our current collars have wide buckles, big loops, and are fitted with tags and trackers that are ill-suited to a slide, unless it’s very stretchy. 

Slides and Loops

As noted above, you can create a no-sew loop slide using fusible tape or fabric glue to create the loop. You can do this with folded fabric, binding tape, or other material that suits your style. No-sew detachable collar slides can be created with self-adhesive Velcro or (if you have the tools) press-fitted snaps to form an open/close loop instead.

Elastics

Elastics aren’t quite as pretty as a finished slide, but if you choose carefully they can look pretty good! You can use elastics with a covering slide by slipping an elastic through the back of the slide loop or skip the slide and use a pretty hair elastic instead. They’re tough and secure, too, which is always handy with dogs.

Using elastics to attach bow ties to dog collars

Self-Adhesive Velcro

It might not be the prettiest option, but if you choose a colour that suits your style, self-adhesive Velcro (one piece) like the stuff used to secure appliance cords can be used as a collar attachment. Choose and use with care as their secure hold may vary.

Ribbon

For a pretty alternative to a traditional slide, ribbon can be used to secure the middle of the bow. You can leave the ribbon ends as decorative elements on the bow or use them to as an easy tie-on method for attaching the bow to your dog’s collar. Alternatively, you can trim and tuck the ends, and the wrapped bow can be discretely secured to the collar with clear or concealed elastic.

It can be tricky to get a smooth ribbon wrap on the front of a bow when tying it tight to cinch the middle. For a smoother look, you can tie to secure, then carefully wrap around with a smooth covering layer, and knot again at the back. 

DIY no-sew special occasion dog bows and bow ties

Other Ribbon Options

For a special occasion bow instead of a collar tie, a thick piece of complimentary ribbon could also be used (see safety notes below) around the neck as a tie or with self-adhesive Velcro dots. For the example pictured below, the bow is tied off-centre, leaving enough ribbon to wrap around the neck and fasten behind the bow, leaving similar lengths of dangling ribbon. The ribbon wrap around the neck is flat and smooth, but not too tight. Just right for the wide ribbon to sit comfortably and hold the bow in place. With his dressy bow and pretty silvery grey ribbon, Humphrey is wedding ready. He just needs an invite or a pawty to crash. I think he’d charm a few bridesmaids (and groomsmen, family, friends, the bride and groom, staff, passing strangers…), own the dance floor, snack the night away, and steal a kiss or two!

Dalmatian dog wearing a bow collar with ribbons

Safety over style, furfriends! This type of accessory may not be suitable for some pets. Good behaviour to go with the good looks is not guaranteed. Always put your pet’s safety first. Keep it safe, supervised wear only, and make sure you can quickly untie or remove any accessory, if needed. Even with supervision, it’s better to attach embellishments to a breakaway collar or other safety release wearable. If you want a dressy ribbon style for a collar-on event (or for safety/quick release), you can easily embellish an old collar with ribbon to create a similar look by sewing or gluing some decorating ribbon onto the collar. Collars can also be temporarily sleeved or ribbon wrapped.

Back to the Sewing Room for More Doggone Great DIYs

Now that we’ve shared our no-sew bandanas and these no-sew bows/bow ties, we’re heading back to the sewing room. We have some more pawesome dress shirt upcycles and recycles prepped to share with you soon, so stay tuned for more!

DIY no sew dog collar bow tie and sleeve
DIY no-sew special occasion dog bows and bow ties
DIY easy no sew dog collar bows and bow ties

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